The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-4/W4-2022
14 Oct 2022
 | 14 Oct 2022


M. La Guardia, M. Koeva, F. D’Ippolito, and S. Karam

Keywords: WebGIS, WebGL, 3D models, Virtual Reality, JavaScript, Open source, Digital Twins

Abstract. Recent advances in open-source geospatial technologies in WebGIS allowed the visualization of a 3D complex environment on the web, exploiting realistic Globe reproduction of the real territorial asset. At the same time, in the field of gaming technologies, the new possibilities offered by open-source WebGL JavaScript libraries allowed the creation of Virtual Reality navigation models on the web. The integration between 3D GIS globe navigation models and VR environment navigation is a solution that offers a further level of detail in web navigation, exploiting the capabilities of web browsers in the best way. This research further contributes to this field, showing a workflow to integrate different 3D data in a VR and 3D WebGIS navigation model. The case study for this research is the new building of the University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of Enschede (The Netherlands). This work tests the online integration of variety of 3D input data that can lead to different Levels of Details (LoD) of the buildings inside the Globe-based WebGIS platform. The developed solution works on desktop and mobile devices using the capabilities of the most common web browsers, avoiding any software installation. The result of this work is based on completely open-source solutions that offers the possibility to navigate within a 3D model, which is useful for citizens, governmental or private institutions in decision-making processes. This work represents a first step towards the ambition to generate a web Digital Twin platform to combine datasets from different sources in a unique open-source solution.